I am an Indian devotee who, despite being raised in the West, grew up with Srila Prabhupada's teachings and temples and have been reading BTG since childhood. I love BTG beyond words, and whenever I come home from college, I run first to my mother's bedside table to snag the latest issues.
The January/February issue had one article in particular that deserves special praise: "Ahovalam Revisited." Reading an article about someone in my peer group making such an astonishing journey of love for Lord Nrsimhadeva gave me goose bumps! Many of my close friends are gurukulis [former students of ISKCON schools], and I'm involved in Berkeley's new Hare Krsna Youth club, but never have I come across such inspiration in a young devotee. Dhruva Dasa's dedication to the Lord and his courage truly show that Srila Prabhupada's grandchildren will lead the future of ISKCON and continue to provide an inspiration to those of us fortunate to be born in India but unfortunate to forget our Lord. Thank you, Dhruva Prabhu, and BTG!
Burning the Bad Karma
Many people have the idea that bad karma can be reduced or removed through meditation, worship, samskara, or sacrifice. Do you think so? I believe that bad karma cannot be reduced. We have to suffer all our karma. Please clarify.
Wu, Chung Fai
Via the Internet
OUR REPLY: The Vedic scriptures describe say devotional service to the Lord destroys the results of previous sins in other words, bad karma. The effectiveness of the process depends on its purity. For example, pure chanting of the holy names of the Lord destroys all sinful reactions. But the chanting is usually not pure in the beginning. When one begins the practice of devotional service, it is said to be like unplugging a fan. The fan will still turn for some time. So in the stage of devotional practice, the reactions will continue, but as we become more and more purified by devotional service, eventually we'll be free of all reactions and enjoy the bliss of full spiritual life. And even in the stage of practice, Lord Krsna adjusts the karma so that His aspiring devotees get just what they need to progress steadily toward Him.
A Voice Calling Us Home
When we're lost in the concrete jungle, losing the rat race, it's wonderful to receive Back to Godhead magazine. Even when devotee association is scarce and consciousness has reached rock-bottom, BTG is the window to the spiritual world, a voice calling us back home.
One of your subscription ads reads "Like a visit to a holy place … Back to Godhead." On a recent visit to Sridham Mayapur, the holiest of such holy places, roaming the land of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, I had a rather interesting feeling. I know this sounds crazy, but it's true: I felt like I was walking through the pages of a BTG!
Every issue of BTG takes us to those holy places, on a captivating journey through Krsna consciousness. There's no pretense this magazine actually takes us "back to Godhead." For this, I'll always be grateful.
Yasoda Dulala Dasa
Just in Time
I've been reading Back to Godhead magazine for the past few years, and I can say that this is the best magazine in the world. It really enlivens my spirit of devotional service unto the supreme Lord Sri Krsna. Whenever I'm down or in a confused state of mind, I read "Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out." The one in the November/December 2000 edition, about Christianity and Krsna consciousness, came just at the right time I happened to be discussing the point with a Christian friend. I'd like to wish you all the best. May more and more people get to read this awesome magazine day by day.
Please write to us at: BTG, P.O. Box 430, Alachua, FL 32616, USA. Or: BTG, 33 Janki Kutir, Next to State Bank of Hyderabad, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049, India. [Phone: (022) 618-1718.] E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org